1 Library Resources & Technical Services ISSN October 2008 Volume 52, No. 4 OPAC Queries at a Medium-Sized Academic Library Heather L. Moulaison Literature of Acquisitions in Review, Barbara S. Dunham and Trisha L. Davis How Much are Technical Services Worth? Philip Hider The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services 52 4
2 The Essential Cataloging and Classification Tools on the Web FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Now includes Spanish and French language interfaces! New! Cataloger s Desktop The most widely used cataloging documentation resources in an integrated, online system accessible anywhere. Look up a rule in AACR2 and then quickly and easily consult the rule s LC Rule Interpretation (LCRI). Includes Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Turn to dozens of cataloging publications and metadata resource links plus the complete MARC 21 documentation. Find what you need quickly with the enhanced, simplified user interface. Free trial accounts & annual subscription prices: Visit For free trial, complete the order form at AACR2 is the joint property of the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 2004, 2007 by the Society of American Archivists. All rights reserved. Classification Web Full-text display of all LC classification schedules & subject headings. Updated daily. Find LC/Dewey correlations Match LC classification and subject headings to Dewey classification numbers as found in LC cataloging records. Use in conjunction with OCLC s WebDewey service for perfect accuracy. Search and navigate across all LC classes or the complete LC subject headings. Free trial accounts & annual subscription prices: Now with much quicker Class Schedule navigation! Visit For free trial, complete the order form at Dewey and WebDewey are registered trademarks of OCLC, Inc. FREE 30-Day Trials for Both Products! LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING DISTRIBUTION SERVICE 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C U.S.A. Toll-free phone in U.S Outside U.S. call Fax
3 Library Resources & Technical Services (ISSN ) is published quarterly by the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL It is the official publication of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association. Subscription price: to members of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, $27.50 per year, included in the membership dues; to nonmembers, $75 per year in U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and $95 per year in other foreign countries. Single copies, $25. Periodical postage paid at Chicago, IL, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Library Resources & Technical Services, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL Business Manager: Charles Wilt, Executive Director, Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association. Send manuscripts to the Editorial Office: Peggy Johnson, Editor, Library Resources & Technical Services, University of Minnesota Libraries, 499 Wilson Library, th Ave. So., Minneapolis, MN 55455; (612) ; fax: (612) ; Advertising: ALCTS, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; ; fax: ALA Production Services: Troy D. Linker, Karen Sheets, Chris Keech, Tim Clifford, and Justine Wells. Members: Address changes and inquiries should be sent to Membership Department Library Resources & Technical Services, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL Nonmember subscribers: Subscriptions, orders, changes of address, and inquiries should be sent to Library Resources & Technical Services, Subscription Department, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; ; fax: (312) ; Library Resources & Technical Services is indexed in Library Literature, Library & Information Science Abstracts, Current Index to Journals in Education, Science Citation Index, and Information Science Abstracts. Contents are listed in CALL (Current American Library Literature). Its reviews are included in Book Review Digest, Book Review Index, and Review of Reviews. Instructions for authors appear on the Library Resources & Technical Services Web page at Copies of books for review should be addressed to Edward Swanson, Book Review Editor, Library Resources & Technical Services, 1065 Portland Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55104; Library Resources & Technical Services ISSN October 2008 Volume 52, No. 4 Guest Editorial 218 Entering an Alternate Universe: Some Consequences of Implementing Recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Janet Swan Hill Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Annual Report Pamela Bluh, ALCTS President Articles OPAC Queries at a Medium-Sized Academic Library 230 A Transaction Log Analysis Heather L. Moulaison Literature of Acquisitions in Review, Barbara S. Dunham and Trisha L. Davis How Much are Technical Services Worth? 255 Using the Contingent Valuation Method to Estimate the Added Value of Collection Management and Access Philip Hider Book Reviews 264 Index to Advertisers 280 Index to Volume American Library Association All materials in this journal subject to copyright by the American Library Association may be photocopied for the noncommercial purpose of scientific or educational advancement granted by Sections 107 and 108 of the Copyright Revision Act of For other reprinting, photocopying, or translating, address requests to the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z Publication in Library Resources & Technical Services does not imply official endorsement by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services nor by ALA, and the assumption of editorial responsibility is not to be construed as endorsement of the opinions expressed by the editor or individual contributors. Association for Library Collections & Technical Services Visit LRTS online at For current news and reports on ALCTS activities, see the ALCTS Newsletter Online at
4 218 Hill LRTS 52(4) Guest Editorial EDITORIAL BOARD Editor and Chair Peggy Johnson University of Minnesota Members Kristen Antelman, North Carolina State University Stephen Bosch, University of Arizona Yvonne Carignan, Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Allyson Carlyle, University of Washington Mary Casserly, University at Albany Elisa Coghlan, University of Washington Lewis Brian Day, Harvard University Magda A. El-Sherbini, Ohio State University Dawn Hale, Johns Hopkins University October Ivins, Ivins econtent Solutions Edgar Jones, National University Shirley J. Lincicum, Western Oregon University Carolynne Myall, Eastern Washington University Randy Roeder, University of Iowa Carlen Ruschoff, University of Maryland Sarah Simpson, Tulsa City County Library System Entering an Alternate Universe: Some Consequences of Implementing Recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control By Janet Swan Hill Janet Swan Hill is Associate Director for Technical Services, University of Colorado Libraries, Boulder. This paper is derived from the keynote speech delivered to the New England Technical Services Librarians Annual Conference held in Worchester, Massachusetts, on April 4, It retains much of its original oral presentation style. In its final report, On the Record, the Library of Congress (LC) Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control suggested that our future depends in part on defining the bibliographic universe as reaching beyond libraries, publishers and database producers to include creators, vendors, distributors, stores, and user communities, among others, across sectors and international boundaries. 1 Implementation of all of the Working Group s recommendations, however, requires more than mere redefinitions. In some senses, it requires us to take up residence in an alternate universe, with new understandings, new perspectives, and new responsibilities. In this editorial I will describe what I regard as some of the important aspects of that alternate universe. In order to convey the extent of change that they represent, I will begin by describing salient features of the universe in which we have long been living. Ex-Officio Members Charles Wilt, Executive Director, ALCTS Mary Beth Weber, Rutgers University, Editor, ALCTS Newsletter Online Edward Swanson, MINITEX Library Information Network, Book Review Editor, LRTS The Old Universe When I entered the profession in 1970, it was taken for granted that libraries were a public good, that services that libraries offered were a public good, and that obtaining those services was a right of all the people. The fruits of using libraries education, knowledge, information, and improving oneself were recognized as unassailably worthy. Whatever it took to provide those things was considered reasonable. Libraries, whether public or academic, were viewed as genteel places. We
5 52(4) LRTS Entering an Alternate Universe 219 were a part of polite society. Doing it right was important. Doing it fast was less crucial. After all, good things may take time. Doing it cheaper would be nice, but doing it on the cheap was a betrayal of what we were about. That genteel world developed around print on paper, books, journals, and literature, and all of our practices were well suited to that world. Other kinds of materials were just that the other stuff of lesser importance to us and to our users. Consequently, the other stuff got less attention, and we made what we did with it fit into the pattern of what we did for books and journals. In our gentility, we treasured rare and valuable items, and we cared about them both as carriers of content and as artifacts. We did not lend them out, and we restricted access to them even within our own buildings. We described them with infinite care when we could get around to it and filed the information about them in separate catalogs or in printed finding aids. Access to the material required physical presence, and often required intermediation by a curator who watched over both the reader and the materials while they were in use. If we could not get around to describing the materials, well, there was always the curator to help the reader find them. Readers and scholars in distant places had to guess that we might have something of interest to them, had to write to us, or even come for a visit just to find out what we had. In that genteel world, we cared about serving people, and we cared about not wasting money and about not wasting time, but our perception of how much trouble, or money, or time was a waste was different from what it is today. We know that we are part of a graying profession, and that somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of librarians are going to be retiring within the next ten years. 2 Data derived from 2005 show that one third of the professionals employed in the Association for Research Libraries (ARL) libraries are aged fifty-five or above, and indicate that in US ARL libraries, high levels of retirements appear inevitable through Although these data are only for libraries that are a part of the ARL, they are suggestive for the profession at large. The Future of Librarians in the Workforce (http:// libraryworkforce.org/tiki-index.php), a project funded by the Institute for Museums and Library Services, will provide data for the whole profession. We also know that because technical services librarians skew somewhat older than the rest of the profession, the proportion of technical services librarians that will be retiring is greater than in the rest of the field. 4 This means that one-third or more of technical services librarians currently in the workforce have been working as librarians for a really long time, and probably another third have been working for at least a moderately long time. When most of us grew up professionally, we were suffused with that traditional conviction that however long it takes to do something, and however much money, or however many people it takes to do it, the price must be borne, because it is a public good. And although most of us have learned new attitudes and outlooks, and have learned to do cost analyses and to cut corners and to live with it, the basis of what we absorbed as baby librarians has stayed with us in our core. Those of us who entered the profession in the late 1960s and early 1970s entered at the time of the Great Society. 5 Education, information, and libraries were considered critical factors in improving society, in providing the means for individuals to improve themselves and to improve their lot in life. Libraries and educational institutions experienced a tremendous influx of funding. New positions were created, and there was a period of years in which library schools could barely keep up with the demand for librarians. In this atmosphere, we developed as professionals, expecting that it was universally understood that what we were doing was worth whatever it cost; believing that if we could only figure out the right arguments to make, or if we could only make those arguments often enough, or with enough passion, eventually someone would recognize the rightness of our position, and somehow they would find the money for us to do it. Unfortunately, the Great Society was never fully realized, and the pie of funding that libraries and other educational institutions briefly enjoyed began to dwindle. Libraries began to get a smaller piece of the pie overall, and internally within libraries, technical services piece was proportionally even smaller. And so, we librarians took up a kind of double life a schizophrenic approach to the real world. We still believed in the value of our work and in its standing as a public good. We still believed that the information and services we were providing were what people needed and that if it took time, it took time. If it took money, it took money. If it took people, it took people. But at the same time we began to understand that we were not going to have the same amount of time, money, and people that we used to, and that we needed to figure out ways to accomplish what had to be done with less in the way of resources. Fortunately, at about this time, automation really took hold in libraries. Automated circulation systems entered our sphere in the 1960s, starting with some fairly unsophisticated mechanisms. One such system was the McBee cards: edge-punched cards recording data about library materials. A wire pin was inserted through a data-specific hole in a deck of cards, and those cards in which the hole had been notched to indicate presence of the data element dropped out of the pack. These systems gradually got fancier, faster, more broadly functional, more reliable, and more universally utilized. Automation expanded into other library functions. The MARC format was developed in the 1960s, and published for use in 1967, as were the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR). 6 OCLC was incorporated in the
6 220 Hill LRTS 52(4) same year, and we began to use automation for cataloging operations in a really big way. It got easier and easier to find preexisting catalog cards for the materials we put in our collections, and the delivery of cards got faster. We began to wrestle with questions about whether the cards we got from the LC whether we ordered them directly or got them through some other vendor could be used in our catalogs as is, or whether the time-honored cataloging practices that we had developed locally were so important to us that we needed to continue them. Soon we wondered about the cards from our bibliographic utilities that were derived from records that had been contributed by member libraries, and we learned to disdain the work of our peers, and not to trust it. Time passed. Automation was introduced to more and more facets of our work: acquisitions, serials control, authority control, the public catalog. Library vendors began to operate increasingly online. The profile of our personnel shifted to encompass a majority of support staff and a minority of librarians. Our concentration on hit rates, on throughput rates, on streamlining, and on having work done at the least skilled level possible contributed to our administrators more and more seeing technical services work as a kind of manufacture instead of as a professional endeavor. Increasingly, we were pressed to make do with fewer resources, and so we learned more about cutting corners, doing without, and providing less. We made the most we could out of library automation. All the savings we could realize through these stratagems were important because at last we began to recognize that books and journals are not the only kinds of information resources that were worth having, nor the only kinds of things in which our users are interested. As the light dawned, we started to recognize that providing access to this other stuff in information ghettos such as separate catalogs and separate databases was a bad thing and poor service. Next, as we finally acknowledged our obligations to nonbook materials such as photos and maps and video recordings, people began inventing new kinds of materials, and we began collecting them, and we began having to figure out how to catalog them. Because we did not have as much money or staff as we used to, library automation was our salvation. By using it well we managed to accomplish much more than we had in the past, even while utilizing far less in the way of personnel resources. Harbingers of the Alternate Universe And so we come to the near present. For some time, we had collectively realized that the world of bibliographic control was getting out of hand. Not only were we collecting physical materials, we were collecting virtual things; people now had a choice for how to search for information, and they were increasingly opting for the Internet. Fewer and fewer librarians were going into technical services, and the proportion of librarians that understood anything at all about cataloging was increasingly minuscule. It was becoming obvious to just about everyone that Universal Bibliographic Control, that holy grail of past decades in which everything that any library might want to collect would be cataloged with a single approach, was never going to happen. For some years, people had been writing papers and commissioning reports that said that we had to change. We had conferences to talk about the need for change and the directions we needed to go, and proceedings were published. 7 But for the most part, we wrote the reports, and we read them, and we forwarded them to our administrators (or they forwarded them to us), and we took little action. Then came Early in that year, LC announced its decision to no longer create or maintain series authority records for the materials it cataloged. And we fainted figuratively speaking. And then we picked ourselves up off the floor and started throwing punches. It must be noted that LC was not the only library that had been reacting to changes in its environment and trying to figure out how to move forward. Many of our own libraries had been doing soul-searching and making painful decisions to cease or cut back on work that we had once considered essential. Although we worried that it would lead to patrons being satisfied with less because they did not know enough to know what would be possible if only money were limitless, we kept cutting because we did not have any other choice. Of course, when my library decided that it could no longer keep up with new headings lists in the face of massive and unpredictable database loads, or when some other library decided to cut back on something else, the impact of our decisions was scarcely felt beyond our own walls. But when LC decides to change anything in the way it handles bibliographic control, it affects all of us. LC s response to the uproar about series was to delay implementation of the decision by a month; to conclude that it had blundered in how it had made and communicated its decision; and to form the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. The group s Web site (www.loc. gov/bibliographic-future) contains the charge, membership, interim report, and much more. That group of sixteen members and two consultants met for the first time in November It labored for a year, and delivered a draft report to the LC and to the nation via a live Web cast (that few people actually saw live because of the highest demand that LC had ever experienced for a Web cast) in November The final report, called On the Record, which took into account 135 single-spaced pages of comment on the draft,
7 52(4) LRTS Entering an Alternate Universe 221 was delivered to LC on January 8, 2008, and put up on the Web the next day. The recommendations of the Working Group were many and they were clustered into five areas: Increase the Efficiency of Bibliographic Record Production and Maintenance. Enhance Access to Rare, Unique, and Other Special Hidden Materials. Position our Technology for the Future. Position Our Community for the Future. Strengthen the Library and Information Science Profession. Most recommendations were not controversial or particularly radical, at least in concept. 8 The combination of the recommendations, however, if we act on them, takes us from our accustomed universe and into the alternate universe of this editorial s title. This new universe will require substantial change in the way we view ourselves, our libraries, our collections, our finding tools, our work, and our obligations to each other and it will require us to make changes in how we make decisions about where to put our efforts. Operating in this new universe calls for us to recognize and act on five major concepts. Concepts for the Alternate Universe Recognize the importance of all types of information resources in all formats. We are far removed from the world in which print materials and books and journals were what really mattered. Everything matters now, and we have to figure out how to provide control and access for it all. Books, journals, newspapers, prints, photographs, microforms, archival materials, maps, globes, audio, video, realia, data files, software, Web sites, digital images all of it. Our definition of mainstream has to change because it is all mainstream now. No longer is it going to be enough for a cataloging department to have only people who can handle traditional materials. No longer can we allow our workflows to put the weird stuff aside until we are in the mood for it, or until the one person who knows how to handle it comes back from vacation. No longer can we afford to have the weird stuff handled by people who are isolated from the rest of the library, and who may make decisions based on what they think is best for their particular narrow specialized audience without regard to the impact it has on the whole. For that matter, no longer can we think of it as weird stuff. Either that, or, we need to begin regarding weird as a term of endearment. If you have read On the Record, you will have noted that it has an entire section devoted to providing access to material that has long been neglected, that is, rare, unique, and special materials that may be held by only one, or only a few libraries. Earlier I mentioned our historical approach to such materials. We took great care over their description when we had the time and we restricted physical access to them. By allowing backlogs to build, and by filing records in separate catalogs or databases, we also restricted intellectual access to the materials, although we did not consciously think of it that way. Because we regarded the items as artifacts, we thought that providing access on-site was entirely sufficient. Serious scholars would find out about the collection through their colleagues or through the grapevine, or occasionally through published finding aids and articles, and they would come to visit the collection in person, where guidance by a curator was considered entirely appropriate and adequate. The initial purpose and development of bibliographic utilities was such that libraries thought that contributing records for their rare or unique materials was a largely useless exercise, since the number of libraries that could benefit from using the copy ranged from very few to zero. With the growth of bibliographic utilities, however, and their transformation from just being sources of copy to being public sources of information about the existence and location of materials, and with the availability of local catalogs on the Internet, the old reasons for not paying attention to cataloging our rare, unique, and special materials no longer apply. Even the issues of restrictions on lending, and requiring carefully monitored physical access to the materials are becoming less important as we digitize rare objects (or parts of them, such as decorative spines or marginalia) and as we make images available through our central discovery tools. And so, we have reached the point where it is time actually to take action on our hidden collections. As the Working Group report says, it is time to Make the Discovery of Rare, Unique, and other Special Hidden Materials a High Priority. 9 The report goes on to suggest some additional efforts that will require significant separation from past practice. These include directions to adopt as a guiding principle that some level of access must be provided to all materials as a first step to comprehensive access, to Allow for different cataloging levels, and to establish cataloging practices that are practicable and flexible, and that reflect the needs of users and the reality of limited resources. 10 These instructions are nothing we have not thought of before, and perhaps even espoused, but, taken all in all, we have done very little about them. Accomplishing these things will require a major change in mindset at individual libraries, as well as a shift in priorities, and concomitant changes in processes that will enable us to provide appropriate access to ordinary materials while at last providing sufficient access to things for which we have not previously felt ourselves to be responsible.
8 222 Hill LRTS 52(4) Recognition that a single set of rules, a single mechanism, a single type of discovery tool cannot accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished. When I first started cataloging in 1970, and for decades afterward, there was a single primary set of rules to be followed (if you consider the combination of descriptive, subject, classification, and markup standards to be a single set ). There was a single mechanism for doing the cataloging, although the mechanism itself changed over time. There was a single type of discovery tool: a local catalog. Even if you were, as I was, a cataloger of something other than books, you were very likely still using the same rules, processes, and discovery tools as everybody else. This held true for a long time, but again, time passes. Our belief that a single set of rules, or sets of rules derived from the holy scripture that was AACR (and its revisions) was adequate for all types of materials weakened over time, but even with the first serious departures from it such as the development of the Dublin Core metadata standard we could still manage to think of our approaches as essentially unitary. 11 In larger libraries, it was still possible for most catalogers to be good at only one sort of cataloging, and to leave dealing with newer formats to more recent library school graduates. Alas, no more. At some point we adopted a new word metadata probably partly in recognition that, to many people, the word cataloging was inextricably linked to AACR2 and books and other physical objects. We started recognizing that some kinds of materials were never going to be cataloged according to AACR2, or coded in MARC, or even interfiled with all other entries in our finding tool. We learned about Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and moved on from there. We started digitizing objects and describing them in separate databases, to which we linked as best we could. We bought huge databases of digital images, and added to them from our own collections, but we stored the images and the descriptions somewhere outside the single catalog filing system. We made the various metadata schema speak to each other (more or less) with crosswalks. And as you have noticed, we began speaking a new dialect. It was the digital materials whether obtained from the Internet, created locally, or purchased in databases that pushed us to the edge of our old universe. Now we must realize that in order to provide access to the information that our users need, we have to be good at more than one kind of cataloging. We have to be able to recognize and retain awareness of the principles that these methods have in common, while dealing with the differences in materials in practice. Maybe those who are close to retirement age can resist for a few more precious months or years, but everyone else has little choice but to enter the wormhole that leads to the alternate universe. Recognition that entities other than libraries can, want to, and will contribute to the information-finding construct. The need and ability to accept and utilize the work of others permeates the report of the LC Working Group. Ever since the early days of bibliographic networks when libraries developed lists of whose copy they would accept and whose they would not, and when libraries did studies and published numerous papers about how much copy was acceptable, and what kinds of libraries produced it, we have paid close attention to how much better our work is than the work of others, and taken on faith that our way of doing things, and our standards are not only superior, but are essential to accomplishing our goals. If we got data from some nonlibrary entity such as a materials vendor, for example, we subjected it to intense scrutiny and often simply redid it. In more recent years we have scorned the attempts of nonlibrarians attempting to create subject access in places like YouTube, Flickr, or Pandora. We have marveled at how dreadful and bewildering retrieval can be through Google or other Web search engines, and scoffed at the ineffectiveness and deceit of relevance ranking. Then along comes a report from a group of information professionals, most of whom are librarians whose careers started in cataloging, suggesting ways in which we may be able to improve our ability to provide service, including letting other people fiddle with our records. Anathema! But think. Haven t some of us already been adding table of contents information from vendors? Haven t some of us linked to or included publishers blurbs in our catalogs? These things may not have seemed threatening because wholesale supplying of tables of contents and including blurbs is service that we were never able to provide in the past, and work that we did not regard as our responsibility so we did not see it as trespassing on our territory. But it is a start along the path of expanding the sources of information that we incorporate into our finding tools. In fact, it is how the recommendations in On the Record start with Make Use of More Bibliographic Data Available Earlier in the Supply Chain. 12 The report recommends to LC and the whole bibliographic community that they accept bibliographic data from publishers and foreign libraries even if it is not done exactly as we like; that LC work with publishers participating in the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program, and require them to provide descriptive cataloging in good form, and that libraries then use that data; that libraries use descriptive cataloging provided by materials vendors; and that ways to harvest data mechanically be actively sought. Those recommendations all have to do with utilizing data supplied by entities that form an accepted part of the bibliographic control apparatus. Some of the recommendations from On the Record go farther afield. For instance,